By ABBA ADAKOLE
On, Friday, December 5, 2014, I was in a taxi on the 12-lane Abuja Airport Road heading towards the Airport. I had bought some newspapers earlier in the day but had been too busy to go through them. I was now flipping through the Vanguard, when a story with the headline: “Why Nigeria cancelled US military training – FG” caught my eye. I read the story and the explanations attributed to the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, made me exclaim out loud that America is out to destroy Nigeria.
What happened next took me by surprise. My taxi driver said, “Ah, Oga, na true o. America will not rest until Nigeria scatter!” I asked why he’d said that. He explained that his elder brother told him America predicted Nigeria would disintegrate by 2015. As far as he was concerned, if a soothsayer made a prediction, it was in the soothsayer’s interest to use all means possible to make his prediction come true.
It might sound simplistic but the driver’s comments set me thinking. What if indeed the US is really interested in destabilising Nigeria? First, they won’t sell lethal weapons to us because of so-called human rights violations by the Nigerian Army. Even if those accusations are true, the sheer hypocrisy of such a stance by the US is simply stunning.
Who in the world is unaware of the atrocities the US Army committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and a number of other countries? In Iraq especially, American soldiers were caught on film torturing and, in some cases, killing civilians, and today the same US can talk to Nigeria about human rights abuses? Is this the same US that still has nationals of other countries held for years without trial at Guantanamo Bay? Is this the same US that is still using drones to kill people indiscriminately in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and other places? What manner of hypocrisy is this?
If that is not bad enough, according to the news report I read in the Vanguard, the same US that won’t sell us lethal weapons wants the Nigerian Army to withdraw its heavy weapons from the battle front under the excuse of training our soldiers. If all these do not equate to outright sabotage, then nothing else will.
Meanwhile, rather than turn our collective anger on a country that is hampering our Government’s efforts to stop Boko Haram, some of us are turning round to blame President Goodluck Jonathan. How can any of us, in good conscience, blame Jonathan for the treachery of a supposedly friendly country like the US which is clearly only interested in making sure that its prediction about Nigeria disintegrating comes to pass?
The US Ambassador, Mr. James Entwistle, can deny that his country ever made such a prediction, but Nigerians know the truth. That prediction did not fall from the sky; it emanated from the United States of America. Moreover, we must never forget that the US laid Iraq to waste on bogus claims that Saddam Hussein was hoarding weapons of mass destruction. Many years after the toppling of Saddam Hussain from power and his subsequent death, no single weapon of mass destruction has ever been found in Iraq. Nigerians must learn from the American grand deception in Iraq.
It is good that eminent Nigerians like Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, a former External Affairs Minister and Ambassador Joe Keshi, a former Nigerian Consul-General to the United States, are now speaking up against American hypocrisy and devious plans to destroy Nigeria. Indeed, more distinguished Nigerians need to speak up against this evil now.
In a written statement published on November 30, 2014, Prof. Akinyemi stated: “Continuing references to human rights violations by the Nigerian military will carry more credibility if they come from the Vatican which gave up fighting wars centuries ago, than from the United States whose favourite weapon, the drone, makes no distinction between civilians and combatants. I believe the term “collateral damage” was coined by Colin Powell to justify the often appalling civilian casualties that resulted from United States military activities abroad.”
On his part, Ambassador Keshi, who issued a public statement a few days earlier in Abuja, said: “No Nigerian should be impressed, misled or fooled by American excuses. There are credible evidences, from available official US records, indicating that the United States has over the years, executed some of the biggest arms shipments, running into several billions of dollars to countries with abysmal human right records.” Ambassador Keshi may be too diplomatic to say it, but one must ask: does Nigeria have a worse human rights record than Israel which slaughters Palestinians almost on a daily basis? Is the US not the chief arms supplier of the state of Israel?
In any case, Prof. Akinyemi and Ambassador Keshi, by virtue of their service at senior levels of the diplomatic corps and their international contacts, are well-placed to know what sort of duplicitous game the US is playing with the Boko Haram situation.
So, it is not just about me or my taxi driver sitting in the relative comfort of a “tokunbo” car, driving on a well-made road coming up with conspiracy theories. The facts are self-evident: when it comes to the war the Nigerian state is currently fighting with the Boko Haram terrorists, the United States of America is not our friend, but a dangerous enemy trying to achieve its prediction of Nigeria disintegrating by 2015.
It is now left for all Nigerians to stand together and speak with one voice against our common enemy. The US will continue using groups like Amnesty International to flog its biased human rights violations stories, but Nigerians must remember if we allow the US to succeed in its plan to disintegrate Nigeria, we will no longer have a country to call our own and at that point all of us will have absolutely no rights whatsoever! As such, we must stand united against this common enemy.